High-content screening data management for drug discovery in a small- to medium-size laboratory
Results of a collaborative pilot study focused on user expectations as indicators of effectiveness
High-content screening (HCS) technology provides a powerful vantage point to approach biological problems; it allows analysis of cell parameters, including changes in cell or protein movement, shape, or texture. As part of a collaborative pilot research project to improve bioscience research data integration, we identified HCS data management as an area ripe for advancement. A primary goal was to develop an integrated data management and analysis system suitable for small- to medium-size HCS programs that would improve research productivity and increase work satisfaction. A system was developed that uses Labmatrix, a Web-based research data management platform, to integrate and query data derived from a Cellomics STORE database. Focusing on user expectations, several barriers to HCS productivity were identified and reduced or eliminated. The impact of the project on HCS research productivity was tested through a series of 18 lab-requested integrated data queries, 7 of which were fully enabled, 7 partially enabled, and 4 enabled through data export to standalone data analysis tools. The results are limited to one laboratory, but this pilot suggests that through an "implementation research" approach, a network of small- to medium-size laboratories involved in HCS projects could achieve greater productivity and satisfaction in drug discovery research.